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Headmaster's Blog

2021-10-15

It’s been such a busy term so far with an ever growing number of activities back underway and a steady stream of visitors looking to bring their children to our school.  One of these parents recently asked what is the most important part of a Craigclowan education.  Now I really didn’t need to think about this for more than a heartbeat - it is happiness.  And I don’t mean that all of our pupils are happy all of the time (that simply isn’t realistic in any school) but I do mean that is our mission, it is our north star or guiding light, it is what we are aiming for.   And why?  Well, because it is the essential condition that needs to be in place for successful learning of any type to happen.  

I am convinced that once children are essentially happy they will make good progress and then they stand every chance of reaching their potential.  Of course, when they are not happy progress tends to halt and they don’t reach their potential.  The temptation then is to immediately intervene and fix their problems for them (both as teachers and parents).  However, experience has taught me that this undermines their own development and, instead, the most successful learners are those who have the right tools in their tool kit to be able to create their own happiness by identifying problems and fixing them themselves.  

And here at Craigclowan we don’t leave this to chance...in our assemblies, in tutor time, during Health and Wellbeing classes and indeed, across the curriculum areas, we deliberately and consciously focus on building the strength of character, resources and resilience that will equip our pupils to be happy and succeed.  This is no quick fix but rather a steady chipping away at the stone until the desired skills and abilities are achieved.  Of course there are bumps and potholes along the way, but this is the true nature of life and when we resist the urge to fix all of the problems for our children, tempting though this might be, we are equipping them with all that they require for the most successful of lives.

“Sometimes, even when it seems like the wrong thing to do, let your children fail; it teaches the best lessons and is the key to success”.  (John F Gilmour)

John F Gilmour
Headmaster

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